JoAnne North’s devotion yields a bountiful harvest behind bars
JoAnne North is a devoted wife, a great-grandmother and a…
OKLAHOMA CITY — Stafford North, a longtime preacher, educator and tireless promoter of Oklahoma Christian University, died Saturday night. He was 90.
He began working for then-Oklahoma Christian College in 1952 and played multiple roles for the school, which is associated with Churches of Christ. He served as a Bible professor, administrator, recruiter and writer.
“We are heartbroken to have lost one of our biggest icons and advocates,” the university announced in a social media post. “He was a leader, an educator, an entertainer and spiritual adviser.
“Seldom do you come across someone so dedicated to living their life for others. Stafford North fought to bring others closer to God and to show off campus accomplishments. He had a passion for connecting students with alumni and representing the university well.”
North earned a bachelor’s from Abilene Christian University in 1950, a master’s from Louisiana State University in 1952 and a doctorate from the University of Florida in 1957.
He was a longtime professor of Bible for Oklahoma Christian and for 38 years he served in the school’s administration. He was executive vice president for 20 years. In 2008, he completed “Soaring on Wings Like Eagles,” a 529-page history of the university. He was elected to the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 1997.
For seven decades, North preached for Churches of Christ in states including Oklahoma, Kansas and Florida. He began serving as an elder of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City in 1972. His wife, JoAnne, is a longtime Bible class teacher for children and women and a heartfelt participant in and advocate for prison ministry.
Stafford North was a tireless promoter of Oklahoma Christian and appeared in countless videos for the university, his sense of humor on full display. Here he is with his friend and fellow professor Bailey McBride, editor emeritus of The Christian Chronicle, taking “selfies” around campus.
A memorial service for Stafford North was held August 1, 2020, at the Memorial Road Church of Christ. The service was also streamed online for those who were unable to attend.
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